Early Friday morning, when you and the sun are still sleeping, preparations will be made for the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks extravaganza. Actually, the organizing starts much earlier as fundraising goes on all year round, but the physical act of setting up the fireworks, on the barge and along the shore, begins the day of the show.
One of the signature traditions of the display is the double finale, and this doesn’t come off without a lot of hard work, plus some serious pyrotechnic experts. Most fireworks shows have one big finale at the end, one straight shot to the big Kapow! But Oak Bluffs gives an extra scoop, rising to what appears to be a finale, (it must be the finale, it was so magnificent they say) and then coming back with another blow — louder, brighter and even more magical.
As Carly Simon sang in The Spy Who Love Me — nobody does it better. Island bragging rights, and beyond, are earned once again each year.
The evening’s festivities begin at 7 p.m. with a concert by the Vineyard Haven Band, playing from the bandstand at Ocean Park. The fireworks begin at dark, around 9 p.m. The show is hosted by Oak Bluffs Fireman’s Civic Association, and the television network BET Centric has helped fund the event beginning last year.
Take note, blanket space at Ocean Park gets covered early — some folks seem to arrive with the fireworks crew at dawn. The nearby beaches or a boat make nice vantage points. So does a particular tree, high enough above the fray, secluded and so full of leaves an entire family can gather comfortably like a pack of lemurs taking a night off from racing at the Agricultural Fair. Sorry, the tree’s location will forever remain a secret.
So much to do this week, so little time left for summer 2014. Have a blast!